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December 1974

Gonococcal Lymphadenitis

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine (Drs. Dahl and Dans) and preventive medicine (Dr. Dans), University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(6):1116-1117. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320240150022

Inguinal lymphadenitis has been associated with syphilis, lymphogranuloma venereum, granuloma inguinale, and chancroid. In the standard textbook descriptions of gonorrhea, little mention is made of lymph node involvement. In 1946, Mahoney et al1 reported that four of 82 male prisoners experimentally infected with gonococcal urethritis displayed "tenderness and swelling of inguinal lymph nodes either unilaterally or bilaterally, without evidence of any other etiology." In 1972, Akers2 confirmed a clinical association between inguinal lymphadenopathy and naturally-acquired gonococcal urethritis in the male. Although lymphadenitis has been noted in other case reports, bacteriologic confirmation of node involvement was attempted in only one case, but identification of an isolate was incomplete due to technical difficulties.3 We are reporting a case of bacteriologically-proven lymphadenitis secondary to Neisseria gonorrhoeae involving a single inguinal node in a patient with no clinical evidence of urogenital or extragenital infection.

Patient Summary  A 29-year-old man came to